7 Ekim 2012 Pazar

What are Kobe Steaks and why are they so expensive?

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The Japanese don't only impress people around the world with their unique architectural design, disciplined education curriculum and high-end vehicle production, but also with the quality of the food they produce. In the culinary world, Japan is already famous for its congee, sushi, teriyaki, noodles, sashimi and other raw or semi-cooked dishes. But have you ever heard of Kobe beef? Kobe beef is considered the finest and most expensive cattle meat in the world; yet, it's something that not everyone is familiar with. In Japan, Kobe beef is often served on the dining table either raw or half cooked in the form of sushi. In countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, Kobe beef is most appreciated roasted. When barbecued or roasted, Kobe beef is then called Kobe steaks.

But why are Kobe steaks so expensive? Well, it comes down to their quality and the way they are produced. Firstly, Kobe meat can only be obtained from the Tajima cattle, a variety of the Wagyu breed, which is a type of cattle only found in Japan. Now, we may have already heard of other cow breeds, such as the Angus breed in the United States, but the Wagyu is different. It’s the only breed of cow that can produce meat with such well-distributed marbling that causes extra tenderness, superior juiciness and intense flavor. Unlike other meat, Kobe beef, when overcooked, can become gummy so slight, low fire cooking is required, to keep the natural taste and tenderness.

Although Japan has already permitted the exporting of Wagyu beef to other countries to develop and research production potential, they need to be slaughtered within the Hyogo Prefecture to qualify for the Kobe beef label. And because of that, countries such as the U.S. have to export the cows to Japan, so they are butchered there, and then exported back for distribution with the "Kobe beef" marker. Another reason for their high price could be the amount of care and pampering the cows experience while being bred. Not only are they given regular massages, but they also have special diets. So, along with importing and exporting costs, this increases the overall price of the meat when it comes into the butcher shops and supermarkets.

Angus steaks and Kobe-style steaks are available to buy on the Internet, but you can also purchase Kobe steaks online. Angus and Kobe-style steaks are far more affordable than Kobe steak, and although not the real thing, they taste pretty good. These two beef products are not rip offs or low-grade alternatives. In the U.S., Angus beef is as strictly quality-controlled as Kobe-style steaks. They can be a great alternative to the expensive Japanese delicacy.

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